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Tortelloni Italia Italian Pasta Salad

Tortelloni Italia Italian Pasta Salad

 

best2 copy.jpgToday, during pasta week, we continue in the theme of Italia. This time using delectable aged cheese filled puffs of pasta. Mmm!

For those not aware, Tortelloni are stuffed pasta, the same shape as tortellini, but a bit larger. They are usually stuffed with various types of aged cheeses and or ricotta and leafy vegetables. Their larger shape allows for more interesting and bigger ingredients. Don’t be shy, this stunning display is much easier to prepare than it looks! Walk the meandering roads of Tuscany with me?

For this dish, I stayed with cheese tortelloni, mainly due to the complex flavors of the remaining ingredients. This beautiful Tuscan salad not only tastes stunning, but looks beautiful as well. It’s wonderful for parties and get-togethers not only because it looks impressive, but it keeps its shape well—stays pretty spoonful after spoonful.

Perfect for a complete lunch or light dinner served with crusty bread or for a bigger meal serve with “something grilled” and a tall stem of vino.Best Close.jpg

Prepare tortelloni:

  • 1 12-16 oz package of refrigerated, cheese-filled tortelloni
  • Cook tortelloni according to package directions; drain in a colander. Rinse well with cold water.

Salad dressing:

  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (you can use pre-minced garlic in a jar, but in my opinion fresh is best)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper

Whisk together in a large bowl. add the tortelloni. mix well. Or, if you’re in a pinch, a good bottled dressing works well. I like Good Seasons mix.best.JPG

  • Add:
    1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 c. sliced pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 c. sliced black olives
  • 1/2 c sliced green pimento olives
  • 1/2 c. finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c fresh basil leaves; sliced thin or whole
  • 1/2 c fresh mozzarella, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 cup salami, cubes or thick slices
  • 1/4 c toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp capers

This recipe can easily be made in advance—recommended so the flavors can develop. Leave Parmesan, pine nuts, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves until ready to serve. Top with a sprinkle of additional Parmesan, a few pine nuts and fresh cracked pepper. Bellissimo!


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